Friday, June 28, 2013

Zombie Capitalism

Paul Farrell really gets it. His latest commentary is over the top excellent. He describes a mortal battle between zombie capitalism and the planet. The current way of life has turned human beings into denatured mindless zombies hell-bent on destroying themselves and the entire planet. In the thousands of years leading up until now, resource pillaging and non-stop warfare were not terminal to this planet or the human race. However, in a world of 7 billion people armed with nuclear weapons, past performance is no guarantee of future results...

We are all infected of course to some degree with the zombie virus i.e. the need for ever greater material gratification. That said, some are clearly far more afflicted than others. Those who are totally bought in to the consumption-oriented status quo have been fully zombified, whether they realize it or not. At this juncture, those who fail to acknowledge even to the mildest degree the pointless rat race to nowhere that defines modern society, are by definition fully immersed in the bubble. They can't even contemplate any other way of life, or the end of this one. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that the Idiocracy is absolutely obsessed with zombies, because they see one every time they look in the fucking mirror.

The battle to come will be to save the planet and humanity from the human race itself. Already, the ecology is teetering on the brink of collapse and there is no possible way that 7 billion people can be sustained indefinitely on the planet. Once the economic collapse occurs, the blatant lack of resources will be fully revealed as the supply chain breaks down and it becomes abundantly clear that there is not enough to go around. As it is now, much of the developing world e.g. Africa relies upon ongoing economic assistance from the developed nations merely to survive. Without that economic assistance, they have no basic economy to fall back on. 

History's Largest Bubble
What most people take over for granted as the status quo, is overwhelmingly dependent upon history's greatest bubble i.e. the expansion of credit (debt) that has grown inexorably larger for several decades, across the developed world. The entire supply chain and economy is dependent upon continued massive borrowing, which itself hangs merely by the thin thread of investor confidence. As we are already seeing, small fluctuations in the cost of capital (interest rates) now bring massive dislocations to capital markets. Systemic fragility was an inevitable consequence of a four year zero interest rate environment, leading to a total inability to absorb increases in interest rates. The debt-dependent system now requires ever-increasing liquidity and credit, therefore any tightening in monetary conditions - whether from Central Banks or risk averse investors - would bring about the Minsky Moment asset collapse. Once the credit bubble collapses, the flow of capital from East to West will stop, bringing a halt to the trade of goods between developed and developing countries. Meanwhile, the relative cost of capital for infrastructure and energy exploration will skyrocket. At the same time, demand will implode as capital intensive sectors - housing, cars, consumer durables etc. would be hammered due to a lack of consumer lending and borrowing. The multi-decade borrowing spree will be over, and the massive bill will be long overdue.

Not Enough Prozac To Go Around
Getting back to the metaphor of zombies, it may be a metaphor, but the final implications are the same. Too many people have zero survival skills and otherwise lack the basic ability to cope and survive in this world without access to abundant resources. This society has been too far removed from basic reality for too long. Meanwhile, the Prozac-set doesn't even have the mental resilience to face life in the corporate rat race, how the hell will they survive in a real economic and social crisis? Most of these living zombies are already just barely making it as it stands now.

The Thin Veneer of Civilization
As I have written before, the battle for survival will be to maintain enough humanity to save the planet and the human race i.e. without turning into total savages, as opposed to the partial savages we are now. There are already enough "hot spots" on the map to spark a dozen resource wars day one of an economic meltdown. Add in the Taliban going viral across the Middle East and there alone is enough conflict to start a major geopolitical confrontation. I just watched a documentary on the current state of relations between India and Pakistan. Highly placed officials on both sides said it was only when not if they go toe to toe in a nuclear confrontation. With the ongoing social breakdown and Taliban encroachment in Pakistan, it's not hard to imagine a political solution being a war with India to draw off unrest. Combined they possess over a hundred warheads, more than enough to initiate a global nuclear winter.

A Ray of Hope
Paul Farrell's article offers a ray of hope should humanity survive the coming tribulation. I say that not as a religious statement, more of a reality-based statement. One would like to believe that eventually the human race could learn to live in congruence with the rest of the natural ecosystem. However, from where we are today, and where we would need to get to, it will be an interesting journey to say the least. Along the way, we will somehow have to resolve the basic fact that the zombie virus aka. greed and avarice lives within all of us.

p.s. Zombie Survival Guide
It goes without saying that in the event of any economic "reset", these shrink wrapped zombies will be the first to lose what little is left of their humanity, affording them the least survivability. Therefore, it will be highly advantageous to avoid these types of people as much as possible and otherwise find other human beings who are able to cope under basic situations and pull their own weight.